Janelle’s Story

In 2008 my husband and I experienced the heartache of miscarriage. My doctor told me that it was most likely due to fibroids and that I needed to consider surgery. We tried to fall pregnant again over the next 12 months without success. As it was, I didn’t know how I would handle a second miscarriage anyway so in 2009 I had the surgery to remove the fibroids but there were too many. My doctor told me he stopped counting after 100 and then had to stop removing them altogether as it would risk the viability of my uterus. Even after the surgery, there were still so many tiny fibroids that the walls of my uterus looked like rice bubbles. Since 2009 we have undergone more treatment to shrink the fibroids and six IVF cycles. Along the way, we have been able to create some beautiful little embyros but the bottom line is that I just don’t have a good enough uterus to keep them in.

After our last IVF cycle, my husband and I sat down and discussed our options. We considered stopping altogether and not having a family, but neither of us were willing to go that way. And so the other option was surrogacy. We weighed up the financial cost and what it is going to mean for us. At the end of the day we decided that the chance of having a beautiful baby in our arms was worth it and we couldn’t give up before we had tried everything. But the financial impact of surrogacy will affect us for the rest of our lives. It will mean that I will have to go back to work a lot sooner after the birth than I otherwise would want to. It means we won’t be able to afford to buy a home in the next few years. It means our baby won’t have everything we would like to give them, but they will have a loving, dedicated mother and father who want that child in their lives more than anything else in the world.

I am so blessed that surrogacy is an option for us and that we have a wonderful surrogate who I cannot thank enough. But it’s not an easy option. I’ve grieved the loss of not being able to carry a baby myself and we have had to make some serious financial decisions. But by removing the discrimination in the Medicare Legislation, my husband and I will be able to start our long hoped for family, like so many other Australians, without the additional crushing expense. It won’t lessen the emotional impact of not being able to carry your own child but it will mean that the child is born into a family not burdened with added debt, over and above the usual cost of bring a new life into the world.

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